A Tooele County resident has qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., and she will compete in the breakaway roping competition.
The resident is Jamie Christensen, a Stansbury High School graduate and current freshman at Utah Valley University. During 10 rodeos this year representing UVU, Christensen consistently put up high times roping calves to qualify for the national rodeo.
“That’s the difference from high school to college,” Christensen said. “In high school you could sometimes miss a calf, and it wouldn’t hurt you too bad, but in college you have to catch in both long go and short go. I struggled with that at the beginning of the year, but this spring I finally got it together and kept being consistent.”
Christensen said being consistent at the college level was the most important part for her to qualify for nationals. Her fastest time this year was 2.4 seconds, and she’s been able to keep her times fast and consistent throughout the year.
Her horse, Chester, has been part of her riding and competing in rodeos for 14 years, and she said that’s an important aspect of the competition.
“A big part of breakaway roping is having a good connection with your horse,” she said. “I’m confident going into nationals, and having Chester gives me that confidence.”
The College National Finals Rodeo takes place in Casper, Wyo., from June 7 until June 15. Christensen said she feels good about her chances of competing well and possibly winning. As of now, she sits at No. 4 in the national rankings for the breakaway roping competition, showing that others across the country have taken notice of her talent.
“I have a really good feeling, and I do well and compete to the best of my abilities,” she said. “I was close to qualifying in high school for nationals, but I just wasn’t consistent. Now I keep growing, and my parents and coach have helped me grow my confidence. I’m going into nationals with a good attitude and just want to enjoy the experience.”
Christensen said she has a lot of people from Tooele County who have helped her along the way, and she wants to thank them for all their support as she tries to bring home a national championship.